Teen Dating Violence

Dating Violence occurs when a person physically, sexually, emotionally, or verbally abuses another person in the context of a dating relationship, when one or both of them is a minor.
Dating Violence does not discriminate. It can occur in casual dating relationship and long term relationships, heterosexual and homosexual relationships.


  • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
  • About 72% of eighth and ninth graders are “dating”
  • 75% of Texas youth (ages 16-24) have personally experienced dating violence or know someone who has.
  • One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Between 42% and 87% of dating violence occurs on school grounds with the highest occurrences in rural schools.
  • Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.
  • Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, and further domestic violence.
  • The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.

What Can Be Done To Help?

  • Teach youth relationship skills, promote their own protective factors, and about the signs of an unhealthy relationships.
  • Make sure youth know how and where to get help.
  • Inform schools and parents how to recognize and respond to the signs of an abusive relationship amongst teens.
  • Bring awareness to the community.